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Love Soccer? Here Are Some Great Books!

by Miriam Downey 22. June 2014 11:38

It looks like the United States is finally getting "fusbol" or soccer fever. About time, I say! There are parties and gatherings all over to watch the World Cup, and for the first time, Americans are really interested and excited. When my daughter-in-law was in Israel on business last week, she watched a World Cup soccer game on a big screen at the beach. A student of mine is hurrying home to Jeddah, Saudi, Arabia, to watch the games with his friends on the beach there, as well.

In most countries of the world, every child plays soccer wherever they can--fields, vacant lots, or in the street. If you don't know much about the rules of soccer, Scholastic News recently had an article worth reading that explains the game and the growth of the sport. You can find it here.

So, in honor of the World Cup, here are some soccer books that are appropriate for young readers. I've divided them into two groups--fiction and non-fiction. You can find them at your library or local bookstore.

 

Non-fiction

Soccer for Fun! by Kenn Goin. Soccer rules, soccer skills, and soccer history.

For the Love of Soccer! by Pele and Frank Morrison. The story of Brazilian soccer star, Pele.

Soccer Hour by Carol Nevius. A photographic essay that explains soccer terms.

Young Pele: Soccer's First Star by Lesa Cline-Ransome. A picture book biography.

The Kingfisher Soccer Encyclopedia by Clive Gifford. Everything you want to know about soccer.

Fiction

Winners Never Quit! by Mia Hamm and Carol Thompson. The girls in the story learn to accept losing. A message from the soccer great, Mia Hamm.

Goal! by Mina Javaherbin. Soccer in south Africa told through the experiences of young players in the townships.

Hope for Haiti by Jesse Joshua Watson. Soccer in Haiti.

Goal by Robert Burleigh. A prose poem that describes the action during a soccer game.

Wonder Goal! by Michael Foreman. A boy dreams about scoring a goal in the World Cup.

 

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Sports Biographies

by Miriam Downey 15. January 2013 07:30

We continue our month of great biographies with some biographies and autobiographies about famous athletes. Sports books are often the best way to get boys to read, but I also included some inspiring biographies about women athletes as well. Forgive me, but I had to include a new book written by Derek Jeter, shortstop of the Yankees. He is one of our hometown heroes and does a lot of good in our community with his Turn To Foundation.  Every year he comes to town and meets and talks with many of our community's children. Year after year, he inspires children to do their best.

That is what the best children's biographies do--serve as inspiration to readers. You can find short biographies of athletes on many websites. Here are just a couple of good ones: Ducksters.com and Biography.com. Biography.com has videos on the site which will be helpful for reluctant readers, but there are also advertisements on the site.

PB means picture book or easy reader; MR means middle reader (grades 408) and YA means high school readers.

Most of these books can be found at your local library. Some are available for your ereader. Enjoy!

General

MR Lives of the Athletes: Thrills, Spills (And What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull. The lives of 20 famous athletes.

Baseball

PB  Teammates by Peter Golenbock. Tells the story of the friendship between Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese.

PB Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth by Robert Burleigh. Biography of the first great baseball player.

MR  Heroes of Baseball  by Robert Lipsyte.  Short biographies of several baseball players.

MR  A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson by Michelle Y. Green. Mamie Johnson was one of only three women to play pro baseball in the Negro Leagues.

YA  The Life You Imagine: Life Lessons for Achieving Your Dreams by Derek Jeter. An autobiography by the famous New York Yankees pitcher.

Basketball

PB  Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Roslyn Jordan. A picture book of the famous basketball player.

MR  Michael Jordan: A Life Above the Rim by Robert Lipsyte. The true story of the amazing athlete.

YA  My Losing Season: A Memoir by Pat Conroy. A famous author tells about his last season as a college basketball player.

YA  Counting Coup by Larry Colton.  A winning season on a girl's basketball team made up of Native American and White teenage girls.

Football

PB  Family Huddle by Peyton Manning. A family story from the childhood of Peyton Manning.

MR  Sports Illustrated Football's Greatest by the editors of Sports Illustrated. Short biographies of famous football players.

YA  Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger. A town shaped by its football team.

YA  Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer. The biography of the football player turned soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

Hockey

PB  Hockey Hotshots: Young Stars of the NHL by Steele Filipek.  Easy reader profile of NHL players.

MR  Sidney Crosby: Hockey Superstar by Matt Doeden. How Crosby became a Stanley Cup champion.

MR  On the Ice with Wayne Grettzky by Matt Christopher. The life of the legendary hockey player.

Soccer

PB Hope Solo: My Story by Hope Solo.  An autobiography for young readers.

MR  The Beautiful Game: The World's Greatest Players and How Soccer Changed Their Lives by Tom Watts. Profiles of several of the world's best players.

YA  Messi: The Inside Story of the Boy Who Became a Legend by Luca Laioli. Lional Messi is only 24, and he is already a legend.

Track and Field

PB Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull. Picture book biography of the famous runner.

YA  Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine by Tom Jordan. For four years Pre was the best runner in the U.S,

YA  The Best that I Can Be by Rafer Johnson. Tells the classic athletic story about hard work, success, and glory.

Other Sports

MR  Hawk: Occupation Skateboarder by Tony Hawk. A memoir by the famous skateboarder.

MR  The Greatest: Muhammad Ali by Walter Dean Myers. An illustrated biography of the boxing great.

YA  I Was a Teenage Professional Wrestler by Ted Lewin. The children's author tells about an unusual year in his life.

YA Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox. The adventures of a long-distance swimmer.

 

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